Can Carlo Ancelotti exact UEFA Champions League revenge on Pep Guardiola? We look ahead to the quarter-finals with our Real Madrid vs Manchester City prediction and preview.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer struggled to split this pair, with Real Madrid winning 36.9% and Manchester City triumphing in 35.8% of pre-match simulations.
  • Real Madrid and City will face off in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages for a third successive season.
  • Man City are on a run of 10 consecutive wins in the Champions League. Only Bayern Munich have ever enjoyed a longer winning run in the competition.

Match Preview

Reigning UEFA Champions League champions Manchester City will hope to sweep another contender aside when they head to Spanish giants Real Madrid for the first leg of their quarter-final tie at Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday.

This will be the third straight season that City and Madrid have faced one another in the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition, with Los Blancos winning a semi-final tie in their victorious 2021-22 campaign and Man City triumphing en route to glory the following year.

These clashes have seen 17 goals scored across those previous four meetings, at an average of 4.3 per game (seven for Real Madrid, 10 for Man City), as another enticing Champions League clash awaits in the Spanish capital.

According to Opta’s tournament simulations, Pep Guardiola’s side are the favourites to defend their European crown in 28.3% of predictions, while Madrid rank as the second-most likely to go all the way in 15.0%.

Premier League champions City eased past Copenhagen in their two-legged last-16 tie, winning 3-1 in each leg for a 6-2 aggregate triumph after six wins from as many group-stage games in another dominant European showing.

However, Madrid are one of only two sides – along with current club Man City – that Erling Haaland has played against more than once without scoring in the Champions League (two games against each). His seven total shots and five shots on target against Carlo Ancelotti’s side are both his most without scoring against an opponent in the competition.

Haaland’s success here may rely on the link-up play of Rodri, whose 137 line-breaking passes are the most in the competition this season, ahead of Madrid maestro Toni Kroos (128). Phil Foden is in fine attacking form, too, having scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa before he was rested for Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace.

rodri line-breaking passes in the Champions League

Fellow midfield entertainer Kevin De Bruyne was twice on target at Selhurst Park with a pair of lovely strikes, while Erling Haaland added to his scoring tally after Rico Lewis was also an unlikely Man City name to find the back of the net.

Yet Madrid have their own global superstars to call upon. Vinícius Júnior has been directly involved in more goals than any other player in the Champions League (27 – 14 goals, 13 assists) since the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

In that same period, the Brazilian winger also leads all players in the competition for completed dribbles (97) and progressive carries (373), while Vinícius has formed a fearsome partnership with a familiar English face at Madrid.

Former Man City target Jude Bellingham has either scored (four) or assisted (four) in all six of his UCL games for Ancelotti’s men. The only player to do so in his first seven games for a club in the competition is Sébastien Haller, while playing for Ajax in 2021-22 (11 goals, two assists).

The form of Bellingham and Vinícius has been integral as Madrid also won all six of their group-stage games before edging past RB Leipzig 2-1 on aggregate in the last round-of-16 clash. As for Madrid’s team news, Ancelotti recently welcomed back Éder Militão to his lineup, though Dani Ceballos is a doubt alongside long-term absentees Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba.

In terms of Guardiola’s selection, Bernardo Silva was rested alongside Foden in the weekend win over Palace, while first-choice goalkeeper Ederson returned to the bench after a spell on the sidelines. John Stones has battled through injury issues, though Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol are all unlikely to feature when kick-off comes in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

Madrid have only won one of their last six Champions League matches against Manchester City (D1 L4). They have conceded an average of 1.7 goals per game in the competition against the Citizens (17 goals conceded in 10 games), their most against a side they have faced 5+ times.

This match will also see the two managers with the most wins in Champions League history going head-to-head, with Ancelotti on 113 and Guardiola just four victories behind.

In the three seasons the two managers have faced each other in the knockout stages of the competition, Ancelotti’s sides have progressed on two of those occasions (2013-14 and 2021-22), but were eliminated in the semi-finals last season.

Guardiola lost his first two meetings with Ancelotti’s Madrid as Bayern Munich manager, but since has only lost one of his last eight games against the Italian across all competitions (W6 D1) – all of which have been in charge of current club Manchester City.

Recent Form

City are on a run of 10 consecutive wins in the Champions League, with only Bayern Munich having a longer streak in the competition after their 15 straight victories from September 2019 to November 2020.

Guardiola’s men are also on the second-longest unbeaten run in the Champions League (21 matches), after Manchester United (25 from September 2007-May 2009). The last team to beat them was Madrid in the semi-final return leg in May 2022, a 3-1 win after extra-time.

Madrid have only trailed for 26 minutes in this season’s competition – the fewest of any side. City, meanwhile, are the team that have been ahead for the most minutes in the competition this term (428 minutes).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City Predicted Lineups

real madrid predicted lineup vs man city
man city predicted lineup vs real madrid champions league

Real Madrid vs Manchester City Prediction

The Opta supercomputer struggled to split these two sides for the first leg, with Madrid winning 36.9% of 10,000 pre-match simulations, while City triumphed in 35.8%.

The draw was also ranked at 27.3% as two Champions League favourites go head-to-head for the first meeting of a quarter-final that could potentially decide the winners of the competition.

In Opta’s tournament simulations, Guardiola’s side have a 60% chance of reaching the last four, compared to Madrid’s 40%, while City’s 41.2% likelihood of making the final is far greater than Los Blancos’ 23.8%.

Real Madrid vs Man City Prediction

Real Madrid vs Manchester City UCL Squads

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Kepa, Andriy Lunin, Lucas Cañizares, Diego Piñeiro, David Alaba, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Éder Militão, Fran García, Álvaro Carrillo, Vinícius Tobias, Jacobo Ramón, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Díaz, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Güler, Nico Paz, Mario Martín, Joselu, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Gonzalo García

Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Manchester City: Stefan Ortega, Ederson, Scott Carson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Sergio Gómez, Joško Gvardiol, Manuel Akanji, Mateo Kovačić, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Matheus Nunes, Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jérémy Doku, Julián Álvarez.

Head Coach: Pep Guardiola

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